The Institut Pasteur entrusts the design and installation of its new data center to Ingenova

Institut Pasteur datacenterThe Institut Pasteur entrusted the design of their new data center to Ingenova, specialist in data center services.

Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the Institut Pasteur includes a team of 2600: staff, doctoral students and civil servants. Founded in 1887, the Institut is an international reference in research and education, at the nexus of breakthroughs in science, medicine and public health. This non-profit private foundation further serves to showcase scientific research globally.

Project objective: assist in modernizing the Institut for 2020 by creating a new data center adapted to increasing IT needs for storage capacity, computing power and equipment reliability.

“Our mission is to contribute to the prevention and treatment of disease, mainly infectious disease. Our work demands constant innovation and assistance in numerous areas of research to best meet the biological challenges of today and tomorrow. Like many research centers, new technologies are truly a driving force for innovation on our campus”, declares Stéphane Fournier, Head of Production at the Institut Pasteur. “One must be aware that a campus like ours requires the considerable storage capacity of 2 petabytes. Science today is in constant mutation: we have transitioned from “laboratory bench” science to “computerized data processing” science, which explains the acceleration of our IT requirements and the need for this new data center, better adapted to the demands of our researchers”, he added.

Hosting a variety of constantly growing data processing activities, the Institut Pasteur campus must meet major constraints in continuity of service, density, availability, power and flexibility over the long term. It is in response to these constraints and because their data center had reached its limits that the IT Department decided to create a new data center to satisfy the increasing needs.

At the end of 2014, assisted by the firm Critical Building, the Institut Pasteur launched a consultation to select a firm able to provide a data center for their Paris site containing :

  • 31 racks in contained cold aisles
  • Power distribution to the racks using smart PDUs
  • 40G optic fiber cables and Cat6a copper connectors

« Critical Building assisted us in this project with considerable pedagogy, in determining our needs, drafting the technical specifications, overseeing the project, assisting in its realization, providing audits and advice », states Stéphane Fournier.

The project was divided into two phases on the basis of this preliminary study :

  • A first phase of structural work, carried out in-house, to enable the Institut Pasteur to preserve their data
  • A second phase for the design and creation of the data center, carried out by Ingenova in June and July, 2015

A flawless mission for Ingenova and their partners: Corning, Arista Network, Raritan and Minkels.

Because a project of this size requires collaboration between several professions, the Institut Pasteur called upon several experts to work alongside Ingenova :

  • Cabling was done by Ingenova with products from Corning, whose top-range material is favored by engineers, as much for their innovations as for their quality and robustness. The Corning products as proposed and utilized by Ingenova have a wealth of specificities and advantages which make them more flexible, efficient, better-performing and simpler to use than the other proposals we received.

« When they intervene in the computer room, our engineers aren’t there to lay cables: they need simple, efficient material that allows them to focus on their mission. The clean and meticulous cabling saved us a huge amount of time. »

  • The internal power cabling distribution solutions (smart PDUs and power strips) by the Raritan company (Legrand group) were chosen and integrated by Ingenova.

« These solutions allowed us to double the surveillance of the server room, as compared to the mechanical room, and to include extended controls thanks to the all-in-one smart PDU solution equipped with capacity management ».

  • The computer network material was furnished by Arista Networks.

« A small company who listens very closely to customers’ needs and provides top performing material which met our requirements perfectly for a very competitive budget»

From Ingenova, a team of 12 staff were mobilized for the duration of the project, for the design, conception, piloting, coordination, implementation, installation, testing and reception phases.

« What made the difference in our choice of company to assist us with this project was the fact that Ingenova, in addition to the coherence of their products and pricing, was capable of guiding our thoughts around design and infrastructure, to propose options that made our daily lives simpler in operating our data center. Their knowledge of data centers, from conception to set-up to operations made a real difference »

« Although the construction of the data room was 4 months behind schedule, Ingenova was able to adapt and react when the time was right. The work carried out by their teams was, without exaggerating, a work of art. Our data center is practically a masterpiece! » Stéphane Fournier joked.

« The project required major investment on our part, and involved a dozen staff from the Institut Pasteur, but I am very pleased with this collaboration: the “people behind the scenes” from Ingenova were highly professional and had a remarkable eye for detail, in installation and set-up, which was organized in 3 stages to ensure full safety of operations ».

« Setting up our data center required the approval and involvement of the IT department, executive management, general services and technical services. This type of collaboration across departments can sometimes give rise to conflicts, but in this case everyone was fully involved and dynamics were constructive. The result is highly positive, internally and in our collaboration with Ingenova which was extremely satisfying » concludes Stéphane Fournier.

«It was the constructive exchanges and clear, swift decisions made by the staff of the Institut Pasteur which enabled us to respect the project imperatives. Such full involvement on the ground on a client’s part is rare and highly motivating” adds Olivier Piquart, Business Manager at Ingenova. “At the end of the day, the results speak for themselves: the mission was accomplished, without setbacks, in 6 weeks, in ideal conditions of trust and proactiveness. This is really how we see our profession ».

The project in numbers

At the general level :

  • 2600 employees (researchers, engineers, technicians, administrators) from more than 60 countries
  • 130 research units, 10 Nobel prizes in physiology and medicine
  • 32 Instituts Pasteur branches on all continents
  • 2600 patents and 1900 deposits within the National Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms

At the technical level :

  • 31 800×1200 racks of 46U in contained aisles
  • 2 mixed racks of cables and 1426 core network working units
  • Over 75km of bend insensitive optic fiber cables (gathered together in approximately 3000 m of 24 strand cables)
  • Optic fiber solution based on MPO/MTP technology for 40G transmission
  • 240 MTP cassettes connected to 6 LCD
  • 80 panels 2 or 4 MTP
  • 29 high density 1U optic enclosures
  • 5 4U chassis, very high density loading up to 48 modules
  • Approximately 750 Cat6A copper core RJ45
  • Approximately 6000m of Cat6A SFTP cable

About the Institut Pasteur > Institut Pasteur web site

Founded in 1887, the Institut is an international reference in research and teaching, at the nexus of breakthroughs in science, medicine and public health.
It is a private non-profit foundation which carries out four general interest missions: research, teaching, public health and optimization of results from scientific research.

The Institut Pasteur is at the heart of an international network of 32 institutes in 25 countries on 5 continents (the Institut Pasteur International Network) for the continued development of the institution.

This network, at the heart of the Pasteur project, plays a major role in research, teaching and public health, through numerous cooperative and training programs, and also intervenes on the front line in the fight against infectious diseases, whether emerging, re-emerging or established.

Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the Institut brings together 2600 workers (staff, doctoral students, civil servants).